Developing a Framework for a Participatory Ergonomics Design Processes: The MPEC Method
Ergonomics is considered a design-driven discipline although several challenges hinder its incorporation into the design process such as the articulation of the several actors involved. In this paper we present and discuss a framework for participatory ergonomics design processes focusing on its validation in three real-life design projects. The development of the framework started from a literature review, focusing on existing methods for participatory ergonomics. Seven tools and techniques were selected and structured as a framework which was then validated in three pilot studies (redesign of an industrial kitchen, public hospital sector and large steel industry sector). From the cases, we saw that the framework enabled participants to interact and contribute in different contexts (by themselves, in small groups, collectively) in different stages of the design process while also allowing for the development of several alternative solutions which can be further explored through simulations. It also directs the organization towards concrete changes through detailing and prioritizing of possible solutions and the establishment of a shared view of the planned implementations. Results show that the tools and techniques when employed in an articulated and integrated way supported the development of conceptual designs from a collaborative perspective. The Brazilian context in which this framework was developed, presents several other challenges that must be better understood. Furthermore, as the Ergonomic Workplace Analysis provides a structured intervention method, this framework can assist practitioners and researchers to better structure their participatory ergonomics design approach using integrated and efficient methods and techniques.
KeywordsSimulation Participatory design Collaborative design
This research was funded by the Center for Innovation in Ergonomics from SESI-FIEMG. Without their incommensurable support it would not have been possible to develop the framework, nor this paper reporting its development and applications. For further information regarding the MPEC application please contact Monica Vieira Garcia Campos (email@example.com).
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